Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It's nice to get some use for my wounded figures
One of Guy's units was very quickly seen off by the RMLI proving how difficult it is to attack formed Imperial infantry who get a plus one on every dice roll. The same unit them put paid to the force I sent in to assist.
One of Guy's units was driving the KRRC back and I was at the gates of the strongpoint when we had to stop (it was a school day and was well past Guy's bedtime!). If we had continued it could have gone either way. The RMLI had destroyed two of our units but we still had four on the table. The KRRC were on the run but the Camel Corps were safely ensconced in the building and were shooting away from the rooftops.
A few things we need to check:
1. The rules for charging artillery.
2. The role of extra-unit leaders (morale?)
3. Two units attacking one.
4. Throwing spears during a charge.
A few things I learnt: Beja swordsmen get an extra 1 added to their dice in melee which brings them up to the British level - Perry order going in! Spread warband units out as the shooting arcs are tighter than in WAB, for example. If playing as the British ensure there is infantry support to defend a gun.
Hopefully we can get another game in after I return from my next batch of travels. I will have finished my first unit of Beja -mounted cavalry by then too!
Monday, September 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
It is true, however, that many of the blades were made in Europe: primarily Solingen, Germany; Toledo, Spain; and Belluno, Italy. They were then shipped to the ports of Tunis, Tripoli, Alexandria, and the Moroccan coast to be traded. Some blades were produced locally as were the scabbards and grips.
The blades vary from about 24” to 36” in length with most coming in at the longer length. The edges are parallel (although sometimes there is a slight taper) leading to a spatulate tip. The blades can be flat or have a fuller running down part of it. The sides of the blade are relatively blunt as they were generally used for thrusting rather than slashing (although some of the Perry figures are shown in a slashing pose).
Abstract patterns on the blade
Some blades were etched with inscriptions from the Koran but others contain abstract talismanic patterns. Such inscriptions were meant to impart spiritual power to the weapon (like Warhammer Runes!) and inspire the warrior to fight valiantly for Allah.
The swords have a simple crossguard and most have a languet, a short central extension towards the blade that fits over the scabbard when sheathed. Interestingly, whilst the Perry figures accurately show these on the sheathed swords they do not appear on the models with unsheathed blades. The cross-guards could be iron or brass.
As the blades were comparatively light compared with European swords the pommel didn’t have to act as a counterweight and so Kaskara swords are a flat disk made of wood and, like the grip (usually of round cross-section), are covered in leather strips. More expensive versions would have silver or gold decoration.
The scabbards are characteristically made of red-brown leather although sometimes more exotic skins like crocodile or monitor lizard were used. The leaf-shaped distal flaring is also typical. More high status examples would have a metal chape (scabbard tip).
The Kaskara, a was a prized possession, and was carried whenever the owner was outside his home. Many Beja continue to carry them to this day. The Sudanese were relatively late to firearms compared with neighbouring African countries. This may either be because they didn’t have the technical expertise to maintain them or there was a theory that Sudanese warriors disdained firearms on moral grounds with guns for mercenaries and slave soldiers only. By the time of the Mahdist revolt however they were well armed with around of a third of troops armed with firearms.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Up for auction this week is a tiny note from General Gordon written whilst Khartoum was under siege.
Dated June 22nd 1884 and written in Arabic it says "...Mudir of Dongola Khartoum and Senaar in perfect security and Mahamed Ahmed carries this to give you news and on his reaching you give him all the news as to the direction & position of the relieving force and their numbers and as for Khartoum there are in it 8 000 men and the Nile is rapidly rising on arrival of the bearer give him 100 reals mejide'h from the States C G Gordon."
It was beleived that it was smuggled out of Khartoum, probably in the courier's hair.
Guide price is £500-£700 and I am very tempted by this! The problem is that now it has been in the newspaper it will probably go for much more and I really need to get a new PC this month! Whoever buys it might also get press coverage and my wife would have a fit if she found out I had bought it when she is demanding new shoes!